Enliven: Clinical Ophthalmology Research

Ophthalmological Societies in USA: An Overview
General Information

Review Article

Daifullah Al Aboud, MD

1Researcher, Taif University, Taif, Saudi-Arabia

Corresponding author

Dr. Daifullah Al Aboud, MD, Researcher, Taif University, Taif, Saudi-Arabia, PO Box: 5440 Makah 21955, Saudi Arabia, E-mail: amoa65@hotmail.com


Received Date: 05th August 2015

Accepted Date: 08th August 2015

Published Date: 12th August 2015


Al Aboud D (2015) Ophthalmological Societies in USA; An Overview. Enliven: Clin Ophthalmol Res 1(1): 006.


@ Dr. Daifullah Al Aboud. This is an Open Access article published and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


This is a concise overview in a table format for the current non-profit membership-based ophthalmological societies in USA. These societies played a major role in continuous medical education. There is a clear need for establishing more societies which focus on different aspect of ophthalmology. There is always a potential for improving the benefits of these societies to the professionals and to the public. Social media might be utilized in achieving some of the functions of these societies.



Education; Ophthalmology; Society


Ophthalmology in USA has very deep roots [1]. In 1864, the American Ophthalmological Society was established as the first medical specialty organization in the United States, and is the second oldest specialty society in the world and in 1917 ophthalmology became the first branch of medicine to develop specialty board examinations.

Currently, there are several professional ophthalmological societies in USA [2-9]. These organizations are making great contributions to the advancement of ophthalmology. Publishing periodicals and guidelines of care, arranging conferences and supporting researches are just few benefits to names. Just as an example, in 1986, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) developed national guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of major eye disease [2].

In Table 1, I listed selected professional ophthalmological societies in USA.

The society

The year
of establishment

Current President


American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)


David W. Parke II


American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS)


M. Edward Wilson


American Ophthalmological Society (AOS) 


Marilyn B. Mets


American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery


Robert J. Cionni


Arkansas Ophthalmological Society (AOS)


Lydia Lane


Austin Ophthalmological Society (AOS) 

mid 1970?s

Vikram D. Durairaj


Chicago Ophthalmological Society


Dimitri T. Azar


Christian Ophthalmology Society


Stan Pletcher


Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians (CSEP)


Ronald Adelman


Florida Society of Ophthalmology (FSO)


Brad Oren


Houston Ophthalmological Society (HOS)


Tien P. Wong


Illinois Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (ISEPS)


Balaji Gupta


Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology (IAO) 


Michael H. Scott


The Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology


Alan Bauman


Miami Ophthalmological Society


Thomas Albini


Michigan Ophthalmic Personnel Society (MOPS)


Christel Fugmann


Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology (MAO)


Janice M. Sinclair


New England Ophthalmological Society (NEOS)


David Lawlor


Table.1: Selected professional ophthalmological societies in USA (listed alphabetically)

Many of these organizations fall under 501(c) organization, also known colloquially as a 501(c), which are a tax-exempt nonprofit organizations in the United States.

American Academy of Ophthalmology is the largest national membership association of Eye M.D.s. More than 90 percent of practicing U.S. Eye M.D.s is Academy members.

Many of ophthalmological societies in USA serve a given city or state. But there are societies which focus on particular field for interested professionals in USA and abroad.

There are also societies with a wider range of coverage. For example, Pacific Coast Oto-Ophthalmological Society is formed by members from predominately the thirteen western states.

It is noticeable that there is a link between ophthalmology and otolaryngology in regards to the formation of many professional societies in USA. For examples, Houston Ophthalmological Society was formed in 1957 as a result of the division of the former Houston Ophthalmological and Otolaryngological Society. This decision to split was made twenty-one years before the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology made a similar decision.

Ophthalmological society in Iowa started in 1961 as the Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology. In 1989, the IAO incorporated as the Iowa Academy of Ophthalmology. Similar thing in Virginia, it was originally chartered as the Virginia Society of Ophthalmology & Otolaryngology in 1920, then , the Virginia Society of Ophthalmology was incorporated in 1983. In 2009, the membership voted to change its name to the Virginia Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons (VSEPS).

Another example is the Kansas City Society of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology which was founded in 1908, the first of the Kansas City area specialty medical societies.

The split from combined specialties societies sound very logic. Not to mention that creating a society on a focused field might be advantageous to its members. One of such societies in the subspecialties of ophthalmology is to AAPOS (American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus) which started as AAPO and in 1976; it changed its name to to AAPOS.

This manuscript is just an overview; however, there is an obvious need for more studies to evaluate the activities of these societies and to find a better ways for these societies to improve their performance.

Each society has to find the best tools to encourage all the members to be active. Duties should not be limited to the members in the leadership positions. Smart phones messages and Social media might be utilized in achieving some of the functions of these societies.

Women and young doctors, in particular, should find a place in the executive committees of these societies.


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